ODESSA Miltrue Collins was born on March 17, 1924, to parents Tommy Cotton and Alvessie Nealy Cotton, in Midway, Madison Co., Texas. She transitioned to her eternal home on March 11, 2013. She attended school in Midway, Texas, Stamford, Texas, and the Abilene Colored School (Woodson High school), where she was the oldest living graduate at the time of her death. She later attended Prairie View College and became an RN. |
She married Vernon Collins in Abilene, TX, in 1944, and they remained married for 52 years until his death in 1996. They moved to Odessa in the mid '40s. She was employed as a nurse at Medical Center Hospital, working first in the pediatric unit and later in the recovery room. She was an activist for minorities in the hospital, which at one time kept all minorities in the basement regardless of their sickness. The hospital eventually did become integrated.
She was baptized into the church at an early age and was an active member of the Highland and Bunche Church of Christ, where she served as a bible school teacher and youth coordinator.
She and her good friend, Mildred Chaffin, worked tirelessly to bring to West Texas the Head Start program and she later worked in the program as the first Health Coordinator for the underprivileged children. Long before there were home healthcare organizations, she administered medications and other treatments to the minority community without any compensation. She served as president of the PTA and Band Booster Club, and traveled with the band as a chaperone. She was very active in the Democratic Party and was part of the Odessa delegation that spoke to the Texas legislature, which established the University of Texas of the Permian Basin. She was a member of the NAACP, a volunteer for the Red Cross, and a board member of the Gertrude Bruce Historical Center. She served on the Ector Co. Historical Commission and was responsible for the historical marker recognizing Blackshear High School.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Vernon Collins, her daughter Shelia Collins, and her brother Glen Cotton.
She leaves to mourn her memory two sons, Gene (Joann) Collins and Hubert (Debra) Collins, all of Odessa, two sisters Sandra (Willie) Hunter of Abilene and Mildred of Richmond, CA, two brothers Allen Lewis Cotton of Atlanta, GA, and J. T. Cotton of Lubbock, TX, 7 grandchildren, Gene O. Collins, Jr., Hubert Collins, Jr., Vernon Russell Collins, Randy Smith, Jesse Houston, Demetrius Collins, and April Collins, 9 great-grandchildren, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Public and Family viewing will be held on Friday, March 15 from 4 pm 'til 8 pm at the Highland and Bunche St. Church of Christ. Homegoing services will be held Saturday, March 16, 2013, at 11:00 am at the 6th and Jackson St. Church of Christ with Bro. Howard Adams officiating. Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery. Services are entrusted to the Acres West Funeral Home.
Published in Odessa American on Mar. 15, 2013